Historical Costume Movie Trailer Roundup: Spring/Summer 2017 & Beyond!

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We’re always trying to track what historical costume movies and TV shows are coming up. Here’s a round-up of currently available trailers, sorted by American release date. As always, you can keep an eye on what’s forthcoming on our Upcoming Movies page!

Harlots: March 29 on Hulu

“Brothel owner, Margaret Wells, struggles to raise her daughters in London during the 18th century.” TV series starring Jessica Brown Findlay, check out our preview post!

The Zookeeper’s Wife: March 31

Jessica Chastain as one of “the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.”

Cézanne et moi: March 31

Two of France’s cultural legends, the novelist Emile Zola and post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne.

Home Fires (final season): April 2 on PBS

Sorry, we were unimpressed by the first season of this British-women-during-World War II series.

A Quiet Passion: April 14

Biopic of Emily Dickinson starring Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle.

The White Princess: April 16 on Starz

TV miniseries about Elizabeth of York, based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, and from the same people who brought you The White Queen. We got ranty about this.

The Lost City of Z: April 21

“In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned.”

The Promise: April 28

A love triangle set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire (pre-WWI) during the Armenian Genocide.

Voice From the Stone: April 28

A Hitchcockian fairy-tale set in 1950s Tuscany, starring Emilia Clarke.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: May 2

Feature film version of the classic Sir Lancelot story.

Dark Angel: May 21 on PBS

Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt stars as Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: May 26

Johnny Depp needs money?

Wonder Woman: June 2

Set during World War I! We reviewed the first trailer, here’s the “origin” trailer:

The Exception: June 2

“During the 1940 invasion of the Netherlands, a lethally dangerous love affair ignites between a German officer and a young Jewish Dutch woman with consequences that neither they nor the Kaiser himself could have foreseen.” Starring Lily James.

(Clip, not a trailer):

My Cousin Rachel: June 9

Victorian mystery-romance based on a Daphne du Maurier novel, starring Rachel Weisz.

The Beguiled: June 30

A Union soldier is held captive in a Confederate girl boarding school, and begins to con himself to each of their hearts. Directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.

Lady Macbeth: July 14

A young bride is sold into marriage to a middle-aged man in the mid-19th century.

Tulip Fever: August 25

“A 17th-century romance in which an artist falls for a married young woman while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait. The two invest in the risky tulip market in hopes to build a future together.” Starring Alicia Vikander. Check out our detailed trailer breakdown.

And coming sometime in 2017:

Anne (Netflix)

TV series reboot of Anne of Green Gables.

The Halcyon

Set in 1940, eight-part period drama The Halcyon tells the story of a “bustling and glamorous” five-star hotel at the center of London society and a world at war.

Will (TNT)

TV series about young Shakespeare’s arrival in 1580s London — “when theatre was like rock and roll.”

Know of any historical costume movie/TV trailers we missed? Post ’em in the comments!

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

29 Responses

  1. Sonya Heaney

    Speaking of wars and zoos, I wish someone would make a movie about Denise Weston Austin, a Northern Irish woman who hid an elephant in her backyard every night during the Blitz (to save its life), and then sneaked it back into the zoo during the day…

    Reply
  2. Arielle

    I’m holding out hope for this Anne of Green Gables remake. The recent one on PBS with Martin Sheen was so dreadful I couldn’t watch more than a few minutes.

    Reply
    • themodernmantuamaker

      I’m skeptical – the 1985 production was so very excellent and holds up amazingly well over time – but I’m going to try to be open-minded. The trailer looks pretty good. My understanding is this is supposed to be a grittier take on the story which I’m not so sure about. The Anne books were LM Montgomery’s love letter to PEI so it’s really meant to be romantic and nostalgic in feeling. My husband caught a few minutes of it on the CBC when lately back in Canada and said his impression was there was a lot of dirt, but I doubt he watched more than a few minutes. So we’ll see.

      Reply
      • Charity

        (Darn it, WordPress ate my comment I think.)

        Shortened version: the Anne series goes “off book” and invents new storylines, but thus far (I’m on episode three) it hasn’t bothered me too much.

        It’s “grittier” because of flashbacks to Anne’s abuse at the orphanage and with Mrs. Hammond, and yes, there’s an overall “darker tone” (she’s much less accepted by the society on PEI).

        The casting, however, is magnificent; Marilla and Matthew are spot on, there’s so much going on behind their eyes. And even though I’m a devotee of the Megan Follows version (literally grew up watching it three times a week, I just about drove my mother insane) — this Anne is stupendous. I adore her.

        Reply
          • Charity

            The actress is blonde, but freckled, so the red looks good on her; Diana hasn’t had a huge presence yet, but I like her a lot. It’s really wonderful that they got kids the right age for the parts (twelve and thirteen year olds); my mother also made the comment that it was wise casting, in that Diana looks better fed than Anne. There’s a interview with the main cast up right now at cbc.ca/anne if you’re interested. :)

            Reply
    • Charity

      I’m watching it as it airs in Canada and… the first hour and a half (two episodes) is some of the finest I’ve seen in terms of enriching Anne’s world and fleshing out the book in truly beautiful ways; but episode three got “off book,” and the writer says the rest continues “off book” — they are “paying homage to the spirit of the story, but not literally,” with the exception of “crucial scenes” (Anne smashing Gilbert’s head with the slate, for example).

      Since it’s only aired three episodes thus far, I cannot comment on how true it remains to the original — but I’m really enjoying it, and the acting is… magnificent. So beautiful, understated, and powerful — Marilla and Matthew say a great deal without words; he’s amazingly quiet, in his mannerisms, his glances, but his eyes reveal so much about his thoughts; and seeing Marilla have a silent meltdown out of worry for his welfare at one point was a truly tremendous piece of acting.

      I’m not a puritan; I don’t mind deviations from the source material if it remains true to the spirit of the characters, and so far this Anne Shirley is SOOO like ‘the real one,’ I just adore her. There is a little more “grit” (namely, some abusive flashbacks to Anne’s stint in the orphanage and with the Hammonds, where she’s bullied) but so far the family loves it.

      But if you expect it to follow the book, you’ll be disappointed after the second episode.

      On another note, lots of great trailers. More costume dramas this year? Yes, please! *rubs hands and smiles greedily*

      But… they moved Tulip Fever back AGAIN?! Wasn’t it last autumn? And then this spring? And now next autumn again? What gives?

      Reply
  3. MoHub

    Remake of The Beguiled? The original is arguably the one Clint Eastwood movie I will go out of my way to watch.

    Reply
  4. Susan Pola

    All of them sounds interesting. Well, except for the White Queen. I’m most hopeful for Zookeeper’s Wife, WW, A Quiet Passion ( Emily Dickinson Yay!!!), The Exception, Tulip Fever. There was a very interesting novel on Lady Macbeth, wonder if movie is based on it.

    It’s about time My Cousin Rachel was remade. And Halcyon sounds like the miniseries The Grand but 20 years later.

    Reply
  5. thedementedfairy

    Oh blimey- I had to stop watching the trailers because they give away the whole ruddy plot! Once upon a time a trailer just hinted enough to intrigue you, now you know the ending before you see the beginning. Sigh. And don’t get me started on that ‘White Princess’…

    Reply
  6. Melponeme_k

    Well, none of these films with the exception of “My Cousin Rachel”, appeal to me.

    I’m rather peeved about the remake of the Eastwood film and remakes in general. It tells me Hollywood can’t make original entertainment anymore and must rely on the nostalgia of better efforts created by better people. I’m not saying Beguiled was a masterpiece. But it was an original thriller/psychological drama. The remake is yesterday’s leftovers. Although I have to say Colin Farrell is an intriguing casting choice. I’m not a big fan but he is very good in anything I’ve seen him in lately.

    Reply
    • MoHub

      I just checked the IMDb description of the new Beguiled, and it seems they’ve moved the school from Louisiana to Virginia. I hope this is an error on IMDb’s part, as the change of locale makes no sense, especially since it appears the film was shot in Louisiana.

      Reply
  7. Broughps

    I might watch 4 out of the list. Surprisingly the one with the most appeal is Will.

    Reply
  8. Liz

    Some of these look intriguing–My Cousin Rachel and Dark Angel both seem up my alley.

    Is it just me or do the trailers for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword look like a ghastly mashup of Vikings and 300?

    Reply
    • janette

      Unfortunately that is exactly what I expect. I love the Arthurian legends but filmmakers see them purely as fodder for yet more action movies with lashings of gratuitous violence and the token semi naked female playing the “strong female” role which has no reference to actual women of the period, just so they won’t be accused of sexism. I want to see how women did live, act, get around the sexism of the period to express themselves not some twenty first century male fantasy of what constitutes a strong woman. Sorry rant over,.

      Reply
  9. Andrew Schroeder

    The costumes in “Lady Macbeth” look fabulous.

    I wonder if the “Tulip Fever” cast is going to be expected to promote a movie they filmed three years ago. Awkward.

    Reply
  10. Marie McGowan Irving

    ‘Harlots’ is airing at the moment in the UK. We’ve had ‘Dark Angel’ already :) It’s nice to see some costume drama that looks at working people instead of posh people in nice houses for a change :D

    Reply
    • janette

      Agreed only I wish that they would not always portray working people as criminals.

      Reply
  11. lesartsdecoratifs

    How often has Tulip Fever been featured in those round-ups? I mean it’s probably the best-costumed movie on this list but it would be great if was released. It’s supposed to be not good which might make it the polar opposite of The Beguiled (which looks like it could be a good movie but the costumes look awful.).

    Reply
  12. Susan Pola

    This is in response to Charity’s answer to y question on Anne & Diana. I am looking forward to seeing it as I did see on YouTube scenes and an interview by the producers – both women and the actress who plays Anne. Her hair in the scenes shown is a reddish blonde, which looks very appropriate and natural. Wonder who will play the older Anne if they plan on doing the saga?

    Reply
  13. Lin

    *faints from all the good movies coming*
    The Beguiling and Lady Macbeth are everything I didn’t know I wanted. Like ‘The Witch’ set two hundred years later.

    Reply

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